Jerry Van Dyke, the comic actor and younger brother of Dick Van Dyke who was featured in several TV series including “Coach” and “My Mother the Car, died Friday at his ranch in Arkansas. He was 86.
Van Dyke’s wife, Shirley Ann Jones, told The Times on Saturday that her husband had been convalescing at their home for the past two years following a car accident. She said the couple were alone together at the time of his death at the 800-acre ranch they’ve owned for 35 years.
The actor discovered his comic ability early on, performing stand-up routines at his high school in Danville, Ill., where he was born on July 27, 1931. After graduation, he joined the Air Force in 1952 with his comedy act, twice winning the “All Air Force Talent Show”.
His first big break outside the service came a decade later, when he scored a guest-starring role — playing his real-life older brother’s brother — on CBS’ “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”